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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
I was completely absorbed in this book from the first chapter. Sophie McKenzie hits you right in the face with every chapter ending, leaving you quickly scrabbling through the pages to find out what would happen next. Each chapter is quite short and sharp and you find yourself holding your breath in between turning to the next one.

Lauren is a very strong...
Published on 16 Aug. 2011 by Serendipity Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
So I've wanted to read this book for a long time now and when I saw it on Scribd I knew I had to add it to my library. Then last week when I was bored, I thought I would give it a go, and I'm really upset to say it just wasn't what I thought it would be. I know so many people love Sophie McKenzie and I'm sure her other books are good, but this wasn't the best one for me...
Published 6 months ago by Stacie @ Beautiful Bookish But...


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 16 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
I was completely absorbed in this book from the first chapter. Sophie McKenzie hits you right in the face with every chapter ending, leaving you quickly scrabbling through the pages to find out what would happen next. Each chapter is quite short and sharp and you find yourself holding your breath in between turning to the next one.

Lauren is a very strong character. As soon as she discovers that her adoption may have been a illegal, she becomes determined to find out the truth. Most people would probably have collapsed with shock, but Lauren isn't a character to mess with and she takes in on the chin and devises a plan. She is fully aware that she is probably heading straight into a dangerous situation but she carries on regardless, like bungee jumping without a safety net!

During the search for her real parents, Lauren exists within her imaginary world. She has an idealistic view of how events will turn out when she finally discovers her real parents and role plays the situation continuously in her head. However, life never really turns out the way we imagine and she finds herself living in a rather tense situation. It is interesting to read how Lauren suddenly realises that she has completely changed her own destiny by pursuing her real parents and she sets off a chain reaction that can never be reversed.

Here is one of my favourite parts of the book, where Lauren realises that life will not be as imagined it would be.

'I sank down on the bed. Shelby was right. Annie didn't want me. She wanted the daughter she'd lost. She wanted eleven years of meals and cuddles and plasters on knees.
But she didn't want me.Here, Now. As I was.
And I didn't want her - I wanted the mother I had remembered. The woman I had dreamed. '

Instant realisation that reality didn't measure up to her imaginary views on the situation.

Lauren found it very difficult to fit into the new family environment and struggled to see how it affected everybody else in the family. She couldn't understand how painful it had been for Annie, all she could see was that she was losing her adoptive family whom she had grown up with. A very painful read. When you read about children returning to their real parents, you feel joyous for them and never consider how they all have to learn to live together again. It must often feel like letting a stranger back into your life.

Lauren found her new life very difficult, but by the end of the book she makes the right decision as she begins to realise exactly how Annie felt about her abduction when Madison was in danger.

On the whole, this was a brilliant story and very well thought out. I found it fascinating to read how the mind blocks out traumatic situations from the past and was intrigued by Lauren's memory being slowly triggered.

The characters were extremely well written and shined throughout the book. The pain that all the characters suffered almost dripped off the page. Jam was just a gorgeous character and his loyalty and love for Lauren was amazing. The story flows so easily and can be read in one sitting, as each chapter keeps you hooked.

I just can't believe that I haven't ever read a book by Sophie McKenzie before and I will certainly be reading more.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Read, 1 Feb. 2011
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
This is a book about Lauren searching for her birth parents. Lauren is a brave and interesting character - I thoroughly enjoyed discovering her story. It was exciting, and occasionally sad, but definitely worth reading. I could not wait to turn the page and find out what happened next. I was sorry to finish it, and will be finding more books to read by the same author. It is the best book that I have ever read and I would highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Girl Missing, 2 July 2011
By 
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this. I find Sophie McKenzie has the habit of making me completely addicted to whatever she writes.

The story follows Lauren who has always known she was adopted. But when she discovers that she might actually be the missing child of an American family it makes her determined to her biological parents. Unfortunately, it might not be that easy...

I really liked Lauren. I found her very single minded in her quest to find out about her biological parents and what really happened to her - which at time made her come across as selfish but I could also completely understand her motivation. She didn't just want to know she needed to know. I also thought that her determination to find answers didn't really give her the opportunity to stop and think about the consequences of what she was doing. Both in terms of the danger she was putting herself in and what the answers would mean in the long term.

I absolutely loved her friend Jam! I loved all of his scenes and really enjoyed his relationship with Lauren - he came across as a great friend and just great fun to be around.

The story moves along quickly and I found myself reading this in one go. I think my favourite part was the end - really exciting and I loved Lauren's decision! I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything - it's one of those books it's best to read and discover for yourself.

I can't wait for the sequel Sister Missing when it's published this year - I'm really looking forward to revisiting these characters.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter loved it!, 26 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
My daughter - someone who has never at aged 12 willingly sat down to read a book - absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down. She also insisted on reading me large chunks of it aloud. So, from my point of view - a book addict who was desperate to get my daughter to read - a total triumph.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 23 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Kindle Edition)
So I've wanted to read this book for a long time now and when I saw it on Scribd I knew I had to add it to my library. Then last week when I was bored, I thought I would give it a go, and I'm really upset to say it just wasn't what I thought it would be. I know so many people love Sophie McKenzie and I'm sure her other books are good, but this wasn't the best one for me to start of with and I wish I'd picked something different because now I'll be cautious of reading anything by her from now on.

My main problem with this book would have to be that I just did not once believe the story. In the first few chapters Lauren finds out that she might have been snatched from her biological parents instead of properly adopted like she was led to believe. All this because she stumbled upon a website for missing children and when entering her birthday, became obsessed with the though of the kid on the screen being her, to the point where she convinces her mum to take one last family holiday to America so she can visit the adoption agency her parents got her from and see if she's right or not. Come on, does that really sound like it would bloody happen? I mean for starters it should have taken months to convince her mum but it didn't, she flew out within the month (or so) and everything she planned just seemed to fall in to place.

Now it wasn't just the lack of believable storyline that got to me, the characters did to. Not only was Lauren a unrelatable character, but she was selfish, very self centred and at times disrespectful to the people who had brought her up. All she cared about was finding her 'real parents' and yeah, her and her mum and dad my not have got a long over the past few years but that's called a family. It is in no way shape or form a reason to justify a crusade to find people to replace them with. She never thought about the consequence of her actions or what she would do if everything turned out to be true, she didn't think about her best friend who was on the trip with them and how his mother would be feeling when they disappeared in America. She just didn't care because she wanted to do what she wanted to do , and she didn't like what she found.

Everything about this book moved to fast and didn't flow. I felt like Sophie McKenzie had put way to much time in to creating a back story and not enough into the development of her characters. I hate giving a book a bad review, its really not something I enjoy, even more since I can remember seeing it in the book stores when I was a teenager, and passing it up for fantasy books but hoping one day I would actually get around to reading it. Like I said, sadly I was just disappointed.

I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to the next one. I know I'll read it at some point but I'm not rushing to. I will however try something else of Sophie's, because I don't think she should ignore an author because of one bad book. If anyone has read anything else by her that they can suggest to me I would be very grateful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page turner, 3 Jun. 2013
By 
Izzy (Leicestershire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
I bought this book to read at bedtime to my daughters who are 9 and 11, my oldest has read other books by this author and suggested this book.
So far the story has got us wanting to read more than one chapter a night, and it's leaving us guessing what is going to happen next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 20 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
`Girl, Missing' is about a 14 year old girl called Lauren. Lauren has always been told she was adopted, but she has never been told who she really is. She looks on a missing children website, and spots a girl that could well be her, from Evanport, in the USA. Could this be her? This is the beginning of an exciting adventure that Lauren and her best friend Jam find themselves drawn into. They run away together, find themselves alone in the middle of nowhere, and are approached by some of the most dangerous criminals ever. Will Lauren achieve what she set out all this way to do? And most of all, will the truth be what she expected it to be?

Lauren is a very strong character. She is headstrong, self obsessed, and stubborn, but most of all, she is very brave. If she gets an idea in her head, for example going to America to find out about her birth parents, she will make it happen, and she won't think twice about it. Lauren is also quite naive, because she doesn't think about the consequences of her actions. Lauren lives with her adoptive parents, with their son Rory, in London. She is best friends with Jam Caldwell. Jam loves Lauren, and supports her every move, even if he isn't happy with it. That shows how much he loves her. He lives with his hypnotherapy mum, Carla, who has almost no time for him whatsoever. Lauren is self obsessed, because although Jam is her best friend, she doesn't ever think about his background. She never thinks about how it may be worse than hers; Jam doesn't have his dad to love him (his parents are divorced), his mum has no time for him, and his siblings are too busy for him.

When Lauren meets the Purditts, her birth parents, for the first time, it was not what she was hoping for. Lauren remembers Annie as a beautiful woman with the ``face of an angel'', but she wasn't beautiful anymore; she had grown old from the worry of losing Lauren as a child. When Lauren went missing, Annie neglected her family, because she was so panicky and depressed from losing her eldest daughter. Sam, Annie's husband, is a shy, quiet man who loves to drive his boat with Madison, his youngest daughter. Madi is 6 years old, and very sweet. She loves Lauren, and sometimes gets bullied by Shelby, her older sister. Shelby is 13 years old, one year younger than Lauren. She is a bully to Madi and Lauren tries her best to sort this problem out. But It must have been awful for Shelby when she suddenly received an older sister; she has just been eldest in the house, and now she has no attention, because Annie has focused on Lauren.

Lauren did not realise what a mess she would create for both her birth parents and her adoptive parents. Mr and Mrs Matthews have looked after Lauren for most of her life. They are good, kind, caring parents, and they were devastated when Lauren ran away, not knowing what had happened to her. They couldn't have children, and they bought Lauren off Sonia Holtwood when she was 3 years old, thinking they were just saving her from a mean mother; they meant no harm. Sonia Holtwood, also known by many other false identity names, stole Lauren when she was 3 years old, and sold her to Mr and Mrs Matthews, because she needed money. When Lauren goes to America with Jam, Sonia stalks them, and she does many bad things to them; she drugs them, abandons them in the middle of nowhere, and tries to kill them.
There are two main setting in `Girl, missing'. London is one of them, and the other is a small town called Vermont, in the USA. Vermont is a rich, beautiful town on the edge of a big lake, where Sam goes boating. There are other setting too, where Lauren and Jam venture through on their journey to find out about Lauren's birth parents. These include Cold Ridge National Forest, where they get abandoned by Sonia, and rescued by Glane, and Marchfield Adoption Agency, where Lauren searches through files about her birth parents.

This book is a good read because it is so well written that you create strong loves and hates with the characters, and you can easily engage with the story. It is an action packed page turner, and you can't put it down once you start reading it. I find it exciting when Lauren and Jam are alone in the woods, and they are 20 miles from anywhere with a name. I also love it when they break into the adoption agency, and they are nearly caught, and lastly, when Lauren and Madi are imprisoned on the boat, and they have to escape. Some of the things that happen in it are a bit unrealistic, but it is written so well that you hardly notice. For example, persuading a family to go to America in under a week is not really going to happen. However, it is a really exciting read and I will never bore of reading this book.

I can't say anything bad about this book; I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I think it is perfect for anyone above 10 years old who loves action packed adventure stories. It has a great mix of adventure, with a love story hidden in it, and it is a pleasure to read. It has a real spark and is simply a very special book.

(Zahra, 12)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, 23 Jan. 2012
By 
L. Rudolph (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
From the first chapter, I was amazed by the book `Girl, Missing'. Sophie McKenzie leaves you hanging at the end of each chapter to the point where you feel the need to accelerate through it. All the chapters are short with a gripping ending and I found myself gasping for breath whilst turning the page to a new chapter.

Lauren is an ambitious character with drive. She is a bit self- centered at times, but is able to show strong emotions towards others. She is very determined throughout the book and is hungry for adventures. She doesn't mind throwing herself into dangerous situations, as long as she's with the people who love her. Her best friend Jam is a very caring and loyal person who will do anything and everything for Lauren. He will also climb the highest mountain, just to be with her. His love for her is strong and I find that very touching.

Lauren spends time looking for her birth parents, but her adoptive parents don't think she's mature enough to know the full story. She imagines that one day, when she's with her real parents, her life will be perfect. But when she gets a taste of reality, Lauren finds out that her life can't possibly be perfect. So much happens after she gets kidnapped again, got left in the woods, and then kidnapped AGAIN. She also decides that she doesn't completely love her birth parents and they don't really love her either; they love the three year old that went missing. With all these exciting events, you always have to read the next chapter to find out your answers.

The genre of this book is teenage novel and realistic fiction combined. It's a book that I probably would have to hear about from someone else to pick it up. Now that I have read it, I want to read the sequel and other ones like it, especially by Sophie McKenzie. Anyone, any age could read this book and love it.

`Girl, Missing' is an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in mysteries. I probably won't read it again, as I know what happens, but I shall definitely read the sequel and any others like it. I give it a 5/5 and I really hope that everyone will at least try to read the beginning and maybe even love it as much as I do!

The book is a very well written one that includes tragedies, romance, mystery, build- up of tension and suspense that drips off the page, I really enjoyed it. I really hope I remember how much I actually got into that book. I would have liked Lauren to choose between her parents, just to add a little more mystery and excitement. Every night, I would stay up late to read just a bit more.

My favourite bit of suspense was:

`...I heard a noise outside the back door.

My blood ran cold.

Reaching behind me, I turned off the light switch. As the room plunged into darkness, a low, hunched figure scurried past the back door. My heart thudded. It looked too low to be human. But too bulky to be a cat or a fox. Maybe it was a bear. A small bear. Could bears get this far into town? I had no idea.

The figure stood up. It was human. Hooded. I sucked in my breath, too shocked for a second even to cryout. And the, just as I opened my mouth to yell, the figure drew back his hood.

And smiled at me.

It was Jam.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rating says it all!, 7 Sept. 2011
By 
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Paperback)
When I picked up 'Girl, Missing' I wasn't that excited about it but I very quickly came to realise that I definitely should have been very excited about this book! From the first few pages I was totally intrigued by what had happened and what was going to happen. Both the past and future was so unknown, I loved it. Everything happened so fast I didn't even have a second in which to stop and let what had happened sink in let a lone stop to do anything else, I couldn't put the book down!
Lauren is a character who I straight away warmed to and although she sometimes frustrated me with poor and rushed decisions I can see why mistakes were made as she was under a lot of pressure and in a very difficult situation. I liked how Sophie made it clear that Lauren knew that she had made mistakes, it made everything feel more real.
I really enjoyed how Sophie presented all the characters and that Lauren's feeling towards each of the characters around her were clear throughout the book but not in a way where you couldn't still make up your own mind about them. I always find it really important that you can make up your own mind about the characters you are getting to know in the book.
I think this book definitely has a great mix of an engrossing story line, great characters and also written in a great way which leads to me becoming totally gripped` to the point where I had to force myself to actually put the book down, the pages just flew by! I couldn't believe it when I kept realising how far through the book I was but also how much had happened.
The twists throughout this book were what kept me totally gripped, in the end I was totally expecting more twists and I was never disappointed. What I loved even more was how with the twists which I could sort of see coming there was another twist with that one, everything was so unpredictable. I LOVED IT!
Over all Girl,Missing is an addictive read which you will become totally absorbed in very quickly. Everything is very fasted paced and it's impossible to become bored while reading this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 17 April 2012
This review is from: Girl, Missing (Kindle Edition)
Written by Sophie McKenzie, Girl Missing is a thrilling, page-turner. I love the story this book tells about an adopted 14 year old girl determined to find out about her mysterious past...

I read this book because I like a book with a big twist in it and I had heard about how great a writer Sophie McKenzie is. Now I have read the sequel (Sister Missing, which is also amazing).

I find these books thrilling and would highly recommend the read.
Niamh (Age 11)
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Girl, Missing
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie (Paperback - 4 Aug. 2011)
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